Archive for May, 2014

postheadericon The Key to Athletic Success – A Consistent Strength Training Program

The issue of strength training consistency for adolescent athletes is a topic often overlooked by parents and coaches when they discuss the makings of a great athlete. More often than not, the focus is largely on the athlete’s potential and talent in their sport, and not how these two traits are guided by the consistency to improve their athletic base year round. This article will unveil the reasons why athletes should continue strength workouts during the competitive season and how building consistency with their training will take their performance to the next level.

athletic-training

When discussing consistency, it’s important to realize that the benefits are two-fold. First, multiple studies show that a consistent strength training program throughout the year is an effective way to maximize the athlete’s ability and reduce injury. But secondly, it will help the athlete recognize that long term athletic success is built both on and off the field. Building discipline and consistency in this manner is what separates good athletes from great ones and it is no surprise that the athletes you see strength training during their season are the ones who often go on to play in college.

However, year round consistency for adolescent athletes is not usually the norm and the foundation of this issue lies in how parents, coaches, and athletes approach strength training. Instead of approaching it as a long term goal for overall athletic ability, they view it as a short term preparation for the next season. When the season commences, athletes not only discontinue their off-season strength and conditioning workouts, but they stop lifting weights altogether and expect to see their strength gains transfer directly to their sport. Unfortunately, by the time they’ve competed in the first competition of the season, the effects of training have subsided by a significant amount. In fact, studies show that this can happen as early as two weeks after the cessation of training.

If instead, parents, coaches, and athletes, worked together to ensure that the athlete had an effective and supervised strength program throughout the year, they would be impressed with the strength the athlete retains. Of course, the in-season training program would be at a lesser intensity than that of the off-season, but the key is that it would be a vital part of their training. For example, if the athlete had three to five strength workouts during their off-season, their in-season strength program might consist of only two days. This adjustment will allow for them to remain competitive during the season, but keep their strength the entire time.

The benefits of yearlong strength training cannot be overstated. If an athlete works hard during their off-season, only to abruptly stop because they are competing, they will have wasted precious hours as they lose strength. Coaches and parents need to push their athletes to be consistent with their strength training; as a result, the benefits will be seen in the weight room, on the field, and later on in life as they continue their athletic career.